Kanhaiya’s attack allegation a publicity stunt: Jet co-passenger

  • Agencies, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2016 21:05 IST
The Jet passenger said Kanhaiya Kumar’s allegation of trying to strangle him was a ‘publicity stunt’. (PTI File Photo)

A man charged by JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar of trying to strangle him on board a Mumbai-Pune flight on Sunday called said the student leader’s allegation a ‘publicity stunt’.

In a series of tweets earlier, Kanhaiya said the co-passenger attacked him inside the aircraft 9W 618 when it was due to depart.

When he brought it to the notice of the Jet Airways staff, they off-loaded him and the alleged assailant. The man, identified as Manas Jyoti Deka (33), an employee of TCS in Pune, was detained and a non-cognisable offence filed at Mumbai airport, police said.

“My hand just happened to brush his neck as I was trying to balance myself on an aching leg. I do not know him personally though I have seen his pictures. This is being done for cheap publicity,” Manas told reporters in Mumbai.

He said he was returning to Pune from Kolkata to report for work.

“Yet again, this time inside the aircraft, a man tries to strangulate me,” Kanhaiya tweeted after the alleged incident which took place when he was inside a Jet Airways aircraft at the airport.

The Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the matter.

Prima facie it appears an argument broke out between two groups over seating on board the flight and Kanhaiya was part of one of them, a senior police official said. Sahar police is in the process of registering the complaints of both the parties, he added.

Following the incident, Maharashtra minister of state (home) Ram Shinde said Kanhaiya was trying to malign the image of the BJP-led state government.

“He had been provided full security by the state government till the time he boarded the aircraft. Nobody can be given security once inside the plane. I, too, do not get security while I am flying,” Shinde told PTI.

“Kanhaiya Kumar was travelling with three other persons. He had been allotted a window seat and thus, while crossing over a passenger who was seated in the middle, he got into a fight with him. The other passenger did not even know this man was Kanhaiya Kumar and he, too, is alleging he was beaten up by the student leader,” Shinde said.

Shinde said that he has asked Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti to conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident and bring out the facts.

The student leader was arrested on sedition charges on February 12 after allegedly raising anti-India slogans at the JNU campus. He was given bail after police failed to produce any evidence to back the charge.

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